Saudi Arabia Unveils Designs for a New Linear City
Saudi Arabia just revealed a shockingly wild design for a new city called, "The Line." With this design, they aim to consolidate an entire city and stack it 500 meters high, which is taller than the empire state building. This skyscraper city will be 200 meters wide and stretched out over 170km! All of this infrastructure will then be housed within a mirrored glass wall.
The Line aims to eventually be the home of over 9 million residents who will live in the suburbs of the city, and this is where things get crazy... Each suburb is a segment along the line that is organized in 3 dimensions. Because of this 3rd dimension, depth, everything needed in daily life such as your home, work, school, and restaurants are all within The Line's "5-minute walk neighborhoods." And, if residents need to travel to other suburbs for any reason, they can get from end to end of the city in only 20 minutes using The Line's high-speed rail system, which eliminates the need for cars.
Due to the lack of cars and the sustainable design of the city, there will be ZERO carbon emissions and their energy supply will be 100% renewable. This would make The Line the most environmentally friendly city we've seen in a long time.
In an effort to make The Line accessible for as many people as possible, the city has been strategically placed so that 40% of the world can travel there in just a 6-hour flight. It also sits in between the ocean and a beautiful mountain range, giving residents easy access to nature.
This project currently has no official release date, but it is a part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 Program, which contains other city designs such as the Oxagon and the Trojena, each with its own unique properties.
Now, this all sounds super cool and techy and whatever... but I've got a few comments and concerns. When countries or companies embark on any kind of mega project, I always ask myself, "what is the problem they are trying to solve?" From the video that Saudi Arabia provided, I can see that they're trying to build more sustainable living and give residents a walkable community. Both of those are admirable goals, but at the root of this project, they are creating a space for humans to live in. And I wonder if there are 9 million people who would even want to live in this city. They would all have to collectively agree to move to some random place in the middle of the world and begin a new life. This doesn't just mean moving and setting up a home, it also means moving entire businesses and industries into the city so that they have products, services, healthcare, etc. This is the problem that will stop The Line from ever becoming a reality. Communities are built organically over time, and there is no possible way that Saudi Arabia can account for all of the wants and needs of the residents if they even wanted to move there.
Along with these economical and societal issues, is nobody going to talk about the potential health risks? Did everyone forget that we just went through a worldwide pandemic that wiped out millions of people? If a virus made its way into The Line, there is no possible way to contain it or eradicate it. The poor souls who decided to move to this city would be wiped out and Saudi Arabia would be left with a failed city and a huge mess to clean up.
I honestly don't see this as anything more than a PR stunt by Saudi Arabia to flex their wealth or scientific advances. The Line sounds cool in theory, but it will never happen.
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